UHC Deploying a Revised Treatment Cost Estimator for Members in 2012

Starting January 1, 2012, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will begin deploying a Revised Treatment Cost Estimator for commercial members in selected markets, with a new Health Care Cost Estimator to be introduced in March 2012 to members in 47 markets, including Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington. Cost estimates will be displayed as the median cost for the services selected, rather than as a cost range.

In a letter being sent to physicians in the UHC network, CEO Jeff Alter says improvements are designed to allow members to compare treatment-specific costs by provider, location and facility type. This will include medical professional and facility costs, and the typical services that make up a treatment episode. Members can view estimates for 110 services, including selected procedures for common ambulatory and outpatient services, such as radiology and lab, office visits, consultations, preventative services and outpatient procedures. Estimates will be ranked by the top 25 percent, the middle 50 percent, or bottom 25 percent of costs for a member’s geographic area. By the third quarter of 2012, claim-based estimates will be replaced by data based on the physician, hospital or other provider’s allowed fee schedule or contracted rate amount.

An FAQ is available from UHC providing additional information about the new Health Care Cost Estimator.

Click here to read the letter UHC is sending to physicians and practice managers.


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